Wednesday, Jul. 8th, 2020

Alcohol Licensed Businesses in Bozeman Band Together in Agreement Requiring Frontline Staff to Wear Masks

Bozeman, MT – Tuesday, July 7, 2020 over two dozen alcohol licensed establishments in Downtown Bozeman, as well as establishments outside of downtown, banded together in agreement to require front of the house staff to wear facemasks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Mike Hope, owner of the Rocking R Bar, led the effort working with alcohol licensed businesses to sign onto the agreement.

“We want the community of Bozeman to be a safe place so that our businesses can stay open,” said Mike Hope. “By having nearly every business in downtown Bozeman that serves alcohol join together in support of front of the house staff wearing masks, our customers know that we value them and that we are all in this together as a community.”

“After meeting with staff and speaking with other downtown businesses, we decided that wearing facemasks for the safety of employees and customers is pertinent as cases continue to rise. With ample social distancing between inside and patio seating, sanitizing tables and chairs, we felt it was best for our servers to wear facemasks daily,” said Jim & Mary Pat Harris, Bozeman Spirits Distillery & Union Hall Brewery

“As restaurant operators we want to cut off any type of going backwards or closures. We want to get out in front of this and put our front house staff in masks, so that we are part of the solution,” said Joe Romano, Urban Kitchen & Nina’s Tacos and Tequila.

The following alcohol licensed establishments in Downtown Bozeman have joined onto the agreement that frontline staff wear masks:

Pour House
317 Pub
Rm 1
Bar IX
Open Range Steak House
American Legion
Rocking R Bar
El Camino
Crystal Bar
Copper Whiskey Bar & Restaurant
Main Street Overeasy
Jam!
Cannery Lounge
Burger Bob's
Baucus Pub
Bozeman Spirits Distillery
Union Hall Brewery
Backcountry Burger Bar
Mackenzie River Pizza - Bozeman
Urban Kitchen
Salted Carmel
Nina's
14 North
Shine Beer Sanctuary
Montana Ale Works
Dave's Sushi
Revelry

Additionally, the following establishments outside of downtown have also joined the agreement:
Sidewinders
Tanglewood
Bay Bar & Grill
Cat's Paw
Molly Brown
Club Tavern & Grill
Fiesta Mexicana
Wild Rye Distillery
Scoop Bar
Pizza Campania

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Tuesday, Jul. 7th, 2020

Montana Department of Transportation Enhances Safety on U.S. 20

 U.S. Highway 20, otherwise known as Targhee Pass Highway has a rear-end crash pattern near Denny Creek Road. The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) intends to alleviate this rear-end crash pattern through the Targhee Turn Lanes project by installing a center-turn-lane between Old U.S. 20 and Denny Creek Road, and a left-turn-lane at Denny Creek Road.

MDT’s current project timeline estimates construction beginning between 2023 and 2025. Prior to that time, the project will be under design, with engineers developing construction plans and working with landowners.
 
“Some drivers make sudden turns off of Targhee Pass Highway and others may not notice that a vehicle in front is slowing and turning,” explained Michael Grover, Project Design Engineer for the Montana Department of Transportation. “The addition of the designated turn-lanes should provide drivers with a safer method of turning off the highway and will help prevent rear-end crashes in that area in the future.”

This project is estimated to cost $3 to $4 million, with 90 percent of funding coming from the federal government.  
 
“We focus on projects that increase safety, where costs do not outweigh benefits. That is why we are prioritizing and funding road projects like Targhee Turn Lanes,” Grover said.
 
Public feedback is an important part of any project under design. The Montana Department of Transportation encourages the community to get involved and provide thoughts or suggestions for changes.
 
Those looking for updates or information on the Targhee Pass Highway project are advised to email takami@bigskypublicrelations.com. For questions, contact the project hotline at 406-207-4484 Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Information is also available on the project web page, https://www.mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/targhee/ and will be continually updated throughout the course of the project.

Alternative accessible formats of this document will be provided upon request. Persons who need an alternative format should contact the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Transportation, 2701 Prospect Avenue, PO Box 201001, Helena, MT 59620. Telephone 406-444-5416 or Montana Relay Service at 711.

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Grizzly bear captured after finding unsecured attractants near West Yellowstone

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks captured a grizzly bear after it got into unsecured attractants at a house and campground near West Yellowstone last week.

The bear reportedly gained access to an unsecured garbage can at a house on Wednesday. Then it made repeated visits to the Rainbow Point Campground, where it got into a cooler, as well as food and garbage in the back of a pickup truck. The bear also toppled a tent and climbed on an occupied vehicle at the campground.

Multiple attempts were made to haze the bear away from the area, but they were unsuccessful. The U.S. Forest Service closed the campground on Friday, and FWP successfully trapped the bear later that evening.

Unsecured attractants, such as food and garbage, can lead to property damage and human safety risks. Relocating and releasing bears that have associated human activity with access to food usually leads to further conflicts as bears often return to the same area where they were captured to look for food. Bears in these situations can’t be rehabilitated, so they often must be euthanized.

However, the 5- to 6-year-old male grizzly bear captured at Rainbow Point last week has been transferred permanently to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. This bear will provide educational opportunities and help the center test new bear-resistant products being developed. This is a rare option because space and opportunities for bears are limited at such facilities.

Residents and recreationists in southwest Montana can help keep bears in the wild by following Forest Service food storage orders, which are in effect every year from March 1 to Dec. 1. These orders require all unattended food, garbage and attractants to be stored in at least one of the following ways:

  • In hard-sided vehicles
  • In certified bear-resistant containers
  • Hung at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet away from a tree or pole, out of the reach of wildlife
  • Placed within a fenced area that meets the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee regulations for approved bear-resistant products

People who do not comply with these orders can be issued a violation and held civilly liable for any damages that occur from non-compliance. Deliberately feeding wildlife is also illegal in Montana.

Grizzly bears in the lower 48 states are currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Management authority for grizzlies rests with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, working closely in Montana with FWP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, the Forest Service and Tribal lands. This collaboration happens through the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

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Monday, Jul. 6th, 2020

5 Tips on How to Write an SEO Optimized Blog Article

Getting SEO friendly content is a massive buzz in the digital marketing environment. It is all everyone that is developing SEO content is talking about. However, it is also a greatly misunderstood concept online. A lot of people do not necessarily get the idea behind the buzz.

So what is SEO? It is a technique of maximizing the effectiveness of your content for the search engines with a view of enabling it to rank higher compared to the others from websites targeting similar search phrases. In layman terms, it is the technical aspect behind what content appears on the first page or last of your browser when you search for a given term. The ranking is a result of search engine optimization (SEO).

How do you achieve the objective of higher SEO ranking? The rule of the game is simple. Come up with content that appealing and readable by the consumers. In this article, we will discuss in detail the aspects that will make your blog article be considered SEO friendly and rank higher.

Understand Your Target Audience
The first rule of writing top quality content is understanding the target audience. They are the individuals who will read the content you are about to prepare. Familiarizing yourself with the audience is a win for you. First, it helps you figure out what it is you want to tell them. In this regard, you will have to ask yourself questions like:

Will it be appealing to them?
Does it match their interests?
What type of information could they be looking for?
What keywords suit these needs?

Once you have the answers to these questions, it will be easier for you to decide what topic to select and what to write. It will also influence the content you write, including your choice of words.

Select an Appropriate Topic
Knowing your target audience makes it simpler for you to select a top of your blog article. A good essay writer will tell you how important it is to have an appropriate topic for your content. It is the headline that attracts your target audience to the content written in the blog.

In article writing, headlines do matter. The catchier it is, the more likely it is to attract more people to read the blog article. As a rule, always remember that the title and meta-description are the results of a search engine search. Therefore, they need to have the right keywords, which are informed by the preferences of your target audience.

Perform a Keyword Search
Performing a keyword search should come after you have determined your target audience and selected your topic. All these are crucial elements that when searching for keywords to use in your blog article. What you need to know is that keywords are an integral part of your search engine rankings. They are the phrases that customers will mainly use when searching for products or information on a given issue.

Writing an article without keywords makes it appear dull and un-competitive. You can forget about the rankings because it will be nowhere near the first pages of the search engines. You can avoid all this by using the right keyword research tools to find the terms that match your topic. Alternatively, you can ask an essay writing service to provide some for you.

Optimize Your Blog Articles Length
Similar to essays, there are rules on the number of words your blog article should achieve for it to be published. Remember, the objective of search engine optimization is to produce an article that is both appealing and readable.

Search engines like Google want their users to enjoy the content, which is both relevant and satisfactory. Therefore, they are shifting to articles that are long enough and have better quality content. To achieve these standards, make sure that your blog article is between 300- 1500 words.

Improve the Blog Article’s Readability
An important rule of writing is that the content you produce should be readable. Your blog article will not be of value if your target audience cannot comprehend what you have written. It is also an essential condition for your article to be ranked.
The rules for improving the readability of your article are simple. Use simple language that is understandable to all. Your choice of vocabulary should be informed by your target audience. Moreover, you have to adhere to the necessary grammatical rules of writing. Also, make use of shorter sentences and paragraphs.

The Bottom Line  
Creation of  SEO friendly blog articles is a process. You get to learn new concepts and rules each day. Following these rules will set you on a path to developing high-quality blog articles. Hopefully, the tips provided in this article will bring you closer to achieving this objective.
 

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How to SLAM in 2020

While we continue to navigate the waters of the COVID-19 pandemic and await the shift into phase 3 of reopening in the state, SLAM has determined that it is in the best interest of our community to present a series of alternatives in lieu of our summer festival.

We are excited to present the “Sweet SLAM Tour d’Arte and Auction” in collaboration with Sweet Pea!  Scheduled for August 8th, 2020 from 11 am-7 pm, the tour portion of this event will afford you the opportunity to shop with Montana artists at locations all over town. Much like stopping by an artist’s booth at SLAM or Sweet Pea, each artist will have their work set up in a booth outside their home or studio. A handful of Montana artists from out of town will be co-located in small groups. Maps with participating artists and their locations will be available on our website at the end of July. In addition to the physical tour, we will host an online auction comprised of amazing works by Montana artists. If your situation prohibits you from visiting artists in person, this virtual auction is the perfect opportunity for you to bid on artwork and own a piece of original work from some of Montana’s premier artists!

For our festival patrons who look forward to the community yoga class we have traditionally offered on Sunday morning, we are proud to once again host this on August 9th, 2020 at 9 am in Bogert Park!  Similar to years past, the dynamic crew from Bend Beyond Yoga and Inferno Pilates will be guiding us through a morning routine to get us energized for the day. Registration is required for the 50 spots available in the park, and we’ll be live streaming the event on our social media pages so you can join in from anywhere!

Continuing our commitment to public art projects, we’ll be hosting a community-created mural at Bogert Park on August 9th, 2020. We invite you to lend your artistic energy to this uplifting project!  In concert with local 2-D artists, you’ll be able to paint on large panels that will become long term public art installations in our community.  Observing recommended guidelines pertaining to physical distancing, community members wishing to take part in this activity will be limited and scheduled.

Did someone say music?! YES!!!! We’re working on the development of a few opportunities for our community to connect with local performers. Keep your ears peeled for updates on the music scene...they’re gonna be totally new and AWESOME!

We understand that this pandemic has disproportionately impacted the artist and musician community, and have developed a financial relief fund to support our community during this uncertain time. To date, SLAM has awarded 20 grants to Montana artists and musicians, and we look forward to continuing to be a resource while our funds allow. If you’re interested in donating to the relief fund, please email SLAM at info@slamfestivals.org.

We are genuinely excited to be able to responsibly continue our mission of “promoting the arts and art education in a manner that enriches and involves the community” in these new ways. We look forward to returning to our traditional models when the time is right.  Until then, stay happy, healthy, and creative!

For more information and registration links, please visit the SLAM website at www.slamfestivals.org.

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Wednesday, Jul. 1st, 2020

Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure: Two Serious Steps That You Need to Take for Your Success

The CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure credential is designed to validate the candidates’ skills and knowledge of complex enterprise infrastructure solutions. Those individuals who are pursuing this certificate must pass two exams, which include one written test and one hands-on lab exam. The first one is a qualifying test that covers core enterprise infrastructure technologies. The lab exam, on the other hand, focuses on the enterprise networks through the whole lifecycle of the network, covering different topics from design and deployment to operation and optimization.

Requirements for Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Certification and Its Exams
There are no formal requirements for earning the Exam-Labs.com credential or taking its exams. However, you must have a comprehensive understanding of the whole content and topics before you attempt any of them. It is also recommended that those pursuing the certification have between five and seven years of work experience. This expertise should focus on the design, deployment, operation, as well as optimization of enterprise networking technologies and solutions.

Key Steps to Obtaining Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Certification
The first step in the process of getting the badge is to pass the qualifying exam. 350-401 ENCOR: Implementing Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies is designed to evaluate one’s knowledge and skills in enterprise networking infrastructure. By taking this test, the candidates also earn the Specialist credential. This means that they also get recognized for their success as they proceed to earn their CCNA 200-301 Premium Exams Infrastructure certification.

After you pass Cisco 350-401, your next step will be the lab exam. So, let’s take a closer look at the details of these two stages that you need to cover in order to obtain the expert-level credential.

Step 1: Written Exam
Cisco 350-401 is a 120-minute exam that leads to the award of the following credentials: CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure, CCNP Enterprise, CCIE Enterprise Wireless, and Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Core. The test is designed to measure your knowledge and skills in implementing core enterprise network technologies, such as automation, security, dual-stack architecture, virtualization, infrastructure, and network assurance. Cisco recommends the instructor-led training course to help the applicants develop competence in the exam content.

The topics covered under the 350-401 ENCOR exam are highlighted below:
• Architecture: 15%;
• Infrastructure: 30%;
• Security: 20%;
• Network Assurance: 10%;
• Virtualization: 10%;
• Automation: 15%.
• Devnet Associate Premium File


The comprehensive details of these objectives can be found on the official webpage. The Cisco 350-401 exam is available in English and Japanese. To register for it, you are required to go through the Pearson VUE platform.

Step 2: Lab Exam
The second step to earning the Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure certificate is to pass the practical test. This exam lasts 8 hours and focuses on the complex enterprise networks and its end-to-end lifecycle. It requires that the candidates design, operate, optimize, and deploy dual-stack solutions (IPv4 and IPv6) for these networks. They are also required to program and automate the network in the course of this test. The topics covered within the exam content are as follows:

• Network Infrastructure: 30%;
• Software-Defined Infrastructure: 25%;
• Transport Technologies & Solutions: 15%;
• Infrastructure Security & Services: 15%;
• Infrastructure Automation & Programmability: 15%.
• Exam-Labs - Download Premium

It is recommended that you go through the official website to find the details of these domains. It is important to understand all of them before attempting this exam. There are various tools that the test takers can explore to prepare for it. Check the Cisco platform to find the official study materials. Moreover, you can explore other sites online to access some other effective preparation resources. There is a huge variety of them and you can go for the one you like. However, be careful not to run into a website with fraudulent activities. Therefore, choose the reliable sources, such as Exam-Labs, ExamSnap, PrepAway, and others.

Recertification for Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Certification
This expert-level credential is valid for three years, and you will be required to recertify before its expiration date. You can recertify by taking the related exams, completing the Cisco Continuing Education activities, or both.

To recertify through the first option, you have to pass any expert-level test or one of the CCNA Exam. You can also opt to take any three professional concentration exams or pass one technology core test with any concentration one. To recertify through the Cisco Continuing Education credits, you need to earn 120 of them via attending the Cisco Live training sessions, completing online courses or instructor-led training.

To combine both options, you can go for one of the following choices:
• earn 40 CE credits and pass one technology core exam;
• earn 40 CE credits and pass two professional concentration exams of your choice;
• earn 80 CE credits and pass any professional concentration exam.
• Cisco CCNP 300-420 ENSLD Premium File
 
Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure is an expert-level certificate that can be difficult to obtain if you don’t prepare for it adequately. With this credential, the candidates can explore numerous senior job roles in the domain of networking. Therefore, put all your efforts into the preparation process and get the certification you deserve!

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Monday, Jun. 29th, 2020

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist injured by grizzly bear in Centennial Valley

Bozeman, MT — A biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) was attacked by a grizzly bear in the Centennial Valley Wednesday morning. The individual suffered serious bite wounds but is expected to recover fully.

The USFWS employee was working on a sage grouse monitoring project on Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge about a mile west of Elk Lake. The biologist heard a noise in the sagebrush and turned to see two grizzly bears in a close-encounter situation, approximately 80 to 100 yards away.

One bear stood up, and the other charged the biologist. The biologist deployed bear spray at the charging bear and throughout the attack until the attacking bear ran away with the other bear.

The biologist began leaving the site while reporting the incident to other USFWS staff, who came and helped the individual get medical attention. The biologist was transported to Rexburg, Idaho, for medical treatment and was released later Wednesday afternoon. 

The biologist’s report indicates the bears may have been young siblings around three years old. Idaho Fish & Game assisted Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) in the early stages of the investigation, which is still ongoing.

Seven people have been injured this year by bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, including two recreationists in Montana. Grizzly bear populations continue to become denser and more widespread in Montana, increasing the likelihood that residents and recreationists will encounter them in new places. Being prepared for such encounters is more important than ever to keep people and property safe and to cultivate natural bear behavior.

Recreationists and people who work outdoors should always be prepared to handle a bear encounter. Most bear attacks on humans happen in surprise close encounters. Activities that are deliberately quiet or fast moving, such as hunting, mountain biking or trail running, put people at greater risk for surprising a bear. When you’re outside, keep these precautions in mind:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and look for bear sign.
  • Read signs at trailheads and stay on trails. Be especially careful around creeks and in areas with dense brush.
  • Carry bear spray. Know how to use it and be prepared to deploy it at a second’s notice.
  • Travel in groups whenever possible and make casual noise, which can help alert bears to your presence.
  • Stay away from animal carcasses, which often attract bears.
  • Follow U.S. Forest Service (USFS) food storage orders, which have been in effect for public lands in Montana since March 1.
  • If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Back away slowly and leave the area.

Grizzly bears in the lower 48 states are currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Management authority for grizzlies rests with the USFWS, working closely in Montana with FWP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, the USFS and Tribal lands. This collaboration happens through the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

For more information on avoiding negative encounters with bears, visit igbconline.org/bear-safety.

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MSU named best college for LGBTQ+ students in Montana


Montana State University was recently named the best college for LGBTQ+ students in the state of Montana, a recognition made by BestColleges.com in partnership with the nonprofit organization Campus Pride.

BestColleges.com released two rankings – the Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students and the Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students in Each State – both of which aim to help students of various gender and sexual identities find an inclusive and quality institution for their college journey, according to an accompanying news release. LGBTQ refers to individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning. The plus sign in LGBTQ+ is intended to include individuals who identify with other communities, such as intersex, non-binary and pansexual.

The Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students ranking recognizes U.S. schools that have established the highest standards for inclusive environments while maintaining strong academic programs for students. The Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students in Each State ranking offers a guide for prospective students to identify schools that are culturally inclusive, affordable and closer to their location. The schools featured on the list were vetted by Campus Pride using their knowledge of the LGBTQ+ education landscape.

“Every student deserves to go to a college that is inclusive and a safe space – to learn, live and grow,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride. “This June for Pride Month we want to show our campus pride for all the campuses working hard to create safer, more LGBTQ-friendly learning environments.”

In its accompanying write-up about MSU, BestColleges.com noted that MSU offers a variety of resources to help LGBTQ+ students succeed.

BestColleges.com wrote that MSU's Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons features education and advocacy tools for students interested in learning about gender identity issues on campus. It also noted that the university ensures gender-neutral housing and restroom accommodations for LGBTQ+ students, that MSU offers a student support group for LGBTQ+ students and allies who have concerns or questions and that individuals can find incident reporting forms online.

MSU earned four out of five stars on BestColleges.com’s Campus Pride Index, which examines colleges and universities’ efforts to create safer, more inclusive campuses. MSU earned especially high scores in LGBTQ+ counseling and health, policy inclusion, housing and residence life, and recruitment and retention efforts.

BestColleges.com also recognized MSU for planning regular social and educational events centered around LGBTQ+ individuals and issues and for offering specific course listings for LGBTQ+ classes and an LGBTQ+ studies program.

Ariel Donohue, MSU’s senior diversity and inclusion officer, said the recognition from BestColleges.com is evidence of MSU’s sustained efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive campus culture.

“This work includes strengthening a sense of belonging amongst LGBTQ+ students, improving training and professional development, examining our practices and offerings, and seeking areas for further growth,” Donohue said. “Thanks to the commitment of many partners across the university and the involvement of student leaders, we will continue to develop this welcoming and affirming community.”

More information about the Campus Pride Index is available at campusprideindex.org/.

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MSU researcher publishes paper examining COVID-19 spread

How many people in the U.S. have had COVID-19? Using a database of information collected after the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, a Montana State University researcher is helping develop a better understanding of the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Alex Washburne, a researcher in the Bozeman Disease Ecology Lab, which is housed in the College of Agriculture’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology, published a paper on the subject this week in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The paper uses data from ILINet a database created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010 to count patients who check into medical clinics with influenza-like illnesses, or ILI. That type of data collection for the purpose of identifying trends is known as syndromic surveillance.

Influenza-like illnesses include any number of infections that carry symptoms similar to the seasonal flu — such as fever, cough and sore throat. Both influenza-like H1N1 and non-influenza diseases like COVID-19 fall into that group. Monitoring trends in ILI clinic visits, Washburne said, could help better understand how quickly and extensively COVID-19 spread during the early days of its appearance in the U.S.

In collaboration with researchers at Pennsylvania State and Cornell universities, Washburne examined the number of ILI visits reported each week over the last decade and compared those historical trends to such visits during March 2020. They identified a surge in March 2020 ILI visits that parallels regional increases in COVID-19 cases.

By examining ILI data alongside the known regional prevalence of COVID-19, Washburne and his collaborators determined that there may have been many cases of the coronavirus disease that weren’t initially identified as such.

Washburne and his colleagues estimate that as many as 87% of coronavirus cases were not diagnosed during early March, which could translate to around 8.7 million people based on the excess March ILI visits. The surge in ILI diminished quickly in the latter part of March, leading researchers to conclude that more cases of COVID-19 were being identified since fewer ILI reports were being logged in the database.

“Early on there seems to have been a low case detection rate, but as time went on that changed,” said Washburne. “By the last week in March, as more and more testing was going on, that case detection rate increased significantly.”

This is good news for scientists seeking to predict and prepare for future epidemics, said Washburne. A baseline has been established through a decade of ILI data collection that allows for the early detection of anomalous surges of ILI that deviate from the annual average.

With much of the research about COVID-19 happening as the pandemic unfolds, Washburne said syndromic surveillance like this shows researchers and the medical community one piece of a larger story. When coupled with COVID-19 testing efforts and serological surveys, which seek to identify the proportion of a population with immunity to an illness, this type of data collection and analysis can illuminate a piece of the puzzle that helps outline our understanding of coronavirus as a whole, he said, while also offering insight for future potential epidemics.

Washburne also said that syndromic surveillance using tools like ILINet could be applied in areas where widespread testing is too expensive.

“For communities that may not have the capacity for more large-scale testing, this may be able to help give them a picture of the movement of their epidemic in time and space,” he said. “That way they can know when to implement actions like mask wearing and social distancing measures.”

The practice of collecting data ahead of a potential outbreak is an investment in future public health, Washburne said. This research into COVID-19 wouldn’t have been possible without the creation of the database after H1N1, so continuing to expanding the baseline data collected for other illnesses could be crucial in navigating future pandemics.

“All these different methods can be used to cross-validate each other,” he said. “We know if our other methods don’t work optimally, we have additional resources. Things like this can really help us be better prepared in the future.”

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Saturday, Jun. 20th, 2020

8 Ways to Improve Your Writing Using Your Mobile Device

Do you stick to that impression that writers are old-fashioned? I mean; George R.R. Martin uses a DOS computer and has the most outdated blog on the planet.

But many writers are actually savvy with their technology. They use the best software for their work, and they make sure to store it in the safest possible way.

What about smartphones? Is there a way to use a mobile device to improve your capacity and skills? There is, and we’ll tell you how to do it.

Mobile writing may not look convenient because of the small screen and tiny keyboard whose auto-correct features have a life of their own. But when used the right way, your phone gives you a chance to boost your potential.

8 Tips: How Your Smartphone Can Help You Improve Your Writing Skills

1. Listen to Good Podcasts

Research is the foundation of every writing process. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to write an academic paper or a novel; you have to support your ideas with reliable information. Have you ever tried listening to podcasts on the theme that you’re exploring?

If grammar is your problem, you can listen to grammar podcasts. If you’re writing on a history theme, you can choose specific podcasts that tackle that period of time. If you’re writing a book and your character is a detective, you can listen to crime podcasts.

Be creative in your search; you’ll definitely find good resources.

If you have an iPhone, it already has a default Podcasts app. Spotify is the best choice for Android devices.

2. Use a Transcription App

Evernote is a versatile app with features that not everyone uses. Did you know that it has a speech-to-text feature, too? It’s not perfect, so you’ll have to do some editing later on. However, it’s a great tool to support your brainstorming process or any creative idea splurge.

3. Use Your Phone to Do Research, Anytime

The writing process goes beyond the moments you spend in front of the computer. You think about the project all the time. When you get an idea and you want to research it, use your phone no matter what situation you’re in. You can create private Pinterest boards to save the resources, so you’ll check them in detail later on.

4. Write Notes All the Time
Keep your phone on the bed counter. You probably know this: the best ideas come at night. You’re trying to fall asleep, but your mind decides it’s not the time for that. It decides to work, and it does it in the most genuine way possible. Use any note-taking app to capture these ideas. Don’t leave them for the morning; they will fade away.

5. Collaborate with Pro Writers
Did you know that even professional writers need to collaborate with experts at different stages of their projects? Even if they completed their work, they need an editor to bring it to its perfect format.

If you need this online essay writing service, you can hire it through your phone and chat with the writer on the go. You’ll discuss ideas and plan the project’s development.

6. Use a Thesaurus App

An advanced English thesaurus will help you find the right word when you want to sound funny, smart, intellectual, and non-repetitive.

7. Use Trello to Plan the Work Process

Trello is an outstanding project management app. You will create three boards:
• To do
• Doing
• Done
You’ll assign a timeframe to each task, and you’ll start moving through the project. When you organize the stages, the writing process will be less overwhelming. You’ll know what tasks you have today, and you’ll realize that you have time to complete them.

8. Use a Journaling App

Practice! That’s the main rule that leads to improvements. Day One is a great writing skills app. It gives you space to write down your worries, hopes, feelings, and thoughts. It will keep the entries organized, so you can go back to them to remind yourself about past experiences. You’ll also see that with time and regular journaling, your writing skills have improved.  

Don’t Ditch the Mobile Phone!
When you’re trying to focus, your first thought is to leave the phone in the other room and stay alone with a blank page on your laptop. Don’t do that! Don’t reach out for the phone to check social media, but leave it there. It may help with a thesaurus app, note-taking feature, or an educational podcast while you rest or prepare a cup of coffee.

With the right apps, your smartphone becomes a powerful tool that boosts the writing process.

Sandra Larson is a writer with a passion to share insights. She shares blogs that motivate people to write more and use different methods to trigger imagination. Commitment to a regular practice - that’s Sandra’s secret to success.

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